Experiences in Resin

I purchased some ICE resin from Fusion Beads last week, and it arrived Friday. I suppose at this point, now that it's in my possession, I have to at least try it out. So yesterday, I sat down and started filling my bezels. I have been collecting a few to try out this process with.

My first task was to fill the bezels. I pulled out a few sheets of PDF images I had printed up previously, plus a small bird book, and my first thought was- try to do something different. So I cut out circles that look like written word. And I painted little birds on each one (for the bracelet) with acrylic paints, and outlined them with details using an archival ink pen.

I was pleased with how they turned out. So I did another one of an owl for a small pewter bezel from Mamacita Beadworks. And another small singing bird on a branch, using a pewter bezel from Green Girl Studios. I colored these with colored pencil. The 1 copper bezels, I filled with scrapbook paper. The large circle pendant (Patera) I filled with the image of a hummingbird from the bird book. This all took me about 1.5 hours, of fussing, painting, coloring, cutting, gluing. Now it was time to get down to business.

I'm sorry that I didn't take photos as I was doing it. To be honest, the frustration level was high to begin with. I felt under pressure to mix it right the first time. So I'll try to describe the process.
I marked lines onto the measuring cup. I figured I'd go big and mix a whole cup worth. I poured in the hardener first, and then later read that it was the other one that I needed to start with. The hardener was supposed be second. Good Job Lor- nice job reading instructions.

I started stirring the concoction, and it was full of striations and bubbles. I stirred and stirred and stirred. For a few minutes at least. I let it sit for a few minutes. The resin came out quite cloudy... now after reading the instructions at IceResin.com, I knew it wasn't right. 
That's when I hit Facebook to see if I could summon up some help. It was a slow day on FB though, but Marie of SkyeJewels was there to talk me through my frustration.  I wasn't really sure what to do at that point, and my thought process was that maybe it will clear up once it's inside the bezel. So I poured the resin into 4 of my bezels, to which the result was yes, still cloudy. I was swearing at this point.

I start mixing a smaller second batch, this time pouring the 2 parts in the right order. The result- still bubbly and cloudy. While letting the first batch sit, I did some online surfing to try to get more tips, on the website, on the Objects and Elements blog... I let that first batch sit for about 15 minutes at least. I pick it up again. It feels like of warm, but not hot, and the resin has cleared up a bit and the bubbles had dissipated.  I filled the bezels on the bracelet at this point, and it looked good. I wanted this piece to turn out over all of them, just because I was in love with the little painted birds. After filling all 5 bezels, and they were looking pretty clear, I decided to fill the remainder bezels but first, I had to dump out the previous cloudy resin. what.a.freakin. mess. I wouldn't recommend you do this, there was resin everywhere. (but not in my hair, KJ! so I felt a bit triumphant! LOL)

 this one looks cloudy here but it dried completely clear.

I refilled them again with the clear resin and breathed a sigh of relief. I quickly picked up my resin mess, and moved onto jewelry for the rest of the day. whew!
Things I learned from the process.
- Be sure to cut carfully so the paper fits perfectly into the bezel. Try to avoid penned lines. The hummingbird image had an image on the back side of the paper. I penned in the line and cut carefully about 1/4" around the outside of that line to get the right size circle for my bezel. (I'm cutting the circle by hand with scissors, because I don't have a hole punch the correct size for this bezel) Now, as I look at the completed pendant, I see the pen line showing through quit clearly from the other side of the paper and also see the image from the back side of the paper. Not good.)

- I would much rather buy premade pendants from my friends, to save myself from the hassel of this. But, I might try this process again in the near future, after seeing positive feedback about my little painted birds. This might be fun to do again but with owls, or trees, or whatever I can think up.
-Keep your husband away from the drying pendants. When I showed them to mine, he touched one of them and there was almost a total loss to the owl pendant.

Overall, a positive turnout, but a frustrating craft. I wish you luck if you try it yourself!


  1. Haha! I think the first go of resin is a bit touch and go for everbody, but I learned one important fact when doing resin with paper. Cover your image (front and back) with at least two good coats of a clear drying Mod Podge. This will keep the resin from soaking into your paper and saturating your paper. If you do that, it should show images from the back. Also, use card stock quality (scrapbook) paper, it's thicker and even if the resin soaks a little it won't show the reverse image. The little bird bracelet looks awesome and welcome to the world of resin!!!

  2. congratulations on trying resin. I tried it once...never again! I could not keep it from ruining my images, no matter how much mod podge I used.

  3. Wow! I admire your tenacity! When I first read about Ice Resin I was hooked...gotta try it...my hubby asked if I was changing venues...could that have been because I have 10 big boxes of beads waiting to be made into jewelry?

    So I put that idea on a back burner...now after reading your story....I agree with you...I'll buy my premade...perhaps from you?

    Yours are GORGEOUS! Sincerely I covet them!

    Thanks for shaing!


  4. You are so brave. I've got some bezels and resin on my work table, but I have been a bit too intimidated to try. I think I need to find a yoga class that meets just before I work on the resin. Thanks for the tips. I've been collecting resin tips for quite some time and hope this helps me when I finally give it a go.

    Your pieces look great. I love your hand-drawn birdies!

  5. I haven't tried this yet, but now I'm REALLY nervous! This stuff just seems as temperamental as all get out.

  6. Bellajoyas advice is great! I too was thinking Mod podge would be needed. I wonder what tips Jade would say. Jade where are you lol? I too havent tried it. Maybe in future. High 5 to you they came out great Lorelei! Thank you for all of this!

  7. I think your things turned out absolutely wonderful. All of them, but I am especially keen on the birdie bracelet. I think those little images you did are great. And how the composition of the five works together. Very artistic. Will you sell it? May I have the first go? I do not yet own any of your jewellery, and I have been thinking lately I should get one. Also to celebrate myself that you have become a follower of my blog. :-)

  8. I really thin they turned out great! A little more practice and you will be set! I wish I could have been more help, I was glad to be there for you no matter how little I was able to help.


  9. It's like everything ... you get better at it the more you do. Don't give up! These are great results. Don't throw away the learning curve you've already acquired. I mean, you learn more from your mistakes than you do your successes. The great thing about doing it yourself is that you can create exactly what you want.

  10. Your frustration sounds similar to my first attempts! For some reason, I was under the impression it wasn't tricky and nervewracking- maybe due to all the gorgeous work by others?
    My hope is that by the time I go thru my first bottle of Ice Resin, it will be smoother sailing.
    Your heart pendant is my fave of the group!

  11. Those look great! I've been wanting to try that out myself. I had to laugh at the story about your husband. Sometimes they're worse than little kids, aren't they? lol

    Hope you're having a great Sunday afternoon.

  12. Hi Lorelei, I have had really good success with Lisa Pavelka Magic Glo UV Resin. You will need a UV curing light (relatively inexpensive) or do your resin work when it is sunny out for the resin to cure. The resin cures in 5-15 minutes and the bubbles are removed with a quick swish of a lighter over the top of the piece or with a toothpick.
    It is the best resin that I have found to date:)

  13. Wow! Great job, L! I never would guess these are first attempts, that's amazing! The bracelet with the hand-painted birds is by far my favorite! So cute!

    I do know what you mean about making your own components vs buying. If you are spending all that time making component pieces, it does take away a lot of time for making the actually jewelry! I really struggle with this quite a bit all the time. Haven't found the right balance as of yet. I feel like I'll always be searching for that balance. It is so fun to try new things, though and the experience and knowledge is always well worth it, even if you don't think it's something you would continue with. You do such a wonderful job with every creative venture you try! Keep it up, Love!

  14. Yea for perseverance!
    I am not good at waiting for results... when I am in that mindset I switch to the Gel du Soleil. Under the UV lamp that I have (you can use sunlight, but it ain't that sunny in central WI) it takes about 15 min from start to finish.
    If you have a fingerprint, you can always brush on a thin layer of the resin and it will disappear. As for the bubbles...best tip I ever got was from Susan Lenart Kazmer... wave a lit flame (those candle lighters work best) over the resin and the bubbles rise to the surface and pop.
    I agree about buying from those who know what they are doing. I don't feel confident in what I do yet to sell them, but I am okay with using them and giving them away. I love, love, love your little birdies. That is so charming, and so totally Lorelei!
    I always thought it would be more fun to do resin projects with a pal...more fun than just by myself. I think that your first experiments were great. I hope you try again. And thanks for sharing the ups and the downs.
    Enjoy the day!

  15. Wonderful! You kept going! And look at the wonderful pretties that came out. I need to remember that art is a process of trial and error... sometimes its more error. You didn't give up... and you walked away with some fantastic jewelry!


  16. Oooh, I love them all! I have a package of Ice Resin to try that I haven't yet...great inspiration to do so :)

  17. my biggest tip: run! run from resin as fast you can! ha ha. i really hate the stuff. but i have learned a few things that might help, if you would like. i have never used ice resin but with basic two part resin i have found the following helpful:
    1. press the image against the lip of the bezel. for some reason this makes for a more accurate cut. and you will avoid pen marks too.
    2. modge podge is essential! i use 2 coats. i brush it on (this way avoiding bubbles)
    3. when mixing resin, start out with 2 seperate cups. i use clear dixie cups. this makes it a lot easier to make sure that the 2 parts are even. pour (at the same time) into one cup. stir the crap out of it for like 2 minutes. then pour this mixture into a seperate cup. this makes sure that any of the unmixed resin clinging to the walls of the cup won't screw you up. then stir for like another minute.
    4. after filling the bezels, i usually let it sit for 10 minutes to let most of the bubbles rise to the top. then i use some sort of heat. lately i have been using a heat gun. but i found that matches work the best, not sure why. but they are a giant pain in the butt (i have burnt finger wounds to prove it:) also keep in mind, if the resin gets to hot the modge podge will melt and you will get "wet out".
    5. make sure it cures in a warm environment. i usually use a lamp.
    hope this helps:) your pendants turned out great. especially love the heart!

  18. Lorelei, Thanks for sharing the whole first-time frustration of the resin experience! I had no idea you would ever swear, everything you do looks like it turned out perfect the first time. Guess we all know better! I read a tip somewhere that you should put a cover, like a plastic container, over the resin to prevent dust from settling while it cures. Also think there is a video on Fusion Beads web site. Please make more, they're all adorable!

  19. I hope you had a good time with the resin. There are lots and lots of different tips you pick up along the way.

    The best and most important is preparing your images. JadeScott mentioned using ModgePodge. I suggest using gel medium. But either will work.

    Also, perhaps the same issue with America spending millions of dollars on trying to invent a pen that works in outer space and the Russians saying, "We just use a pencil." Pencil lines can be erased and don't show through as much in the first place.

    I would suggest opening up Enchanted Adornments. Everything I could tell you about using heat or your breath to remove the bubbles is in there. Also, if there are fingerprints, you can always sand them off with wet/dry sandpaper.

    And I would suggest working in small batches. It's easier and you can always just mix more if you don't have enough.

    Come over and we'll do some experiments together some time.

  20. Anonymous4/19/2010

    great job Lorelei :)
    Resin and I have a tumultuous relationship. the wee owl is precious.

  21. beautiful work Lorelei!! love the bracelet!! so cute!! bravo

  22. I have been waiting for my Ice Resin to arrive and after reading your post I realized that I have been too cocky about trying it out! Thanks for sharing your tips and those of others that commented. I think it's worth a try in order to have personalized images.

  23. I think this is a great first try! Resin can be such a cranky beast sometimes. You should be happy with your results.

  24. Resin can be so freaking frustrating sometimes! I think your pieces turned out beautifully :-)

  25. this looks really great lorelei. I love the hand drawn birds as well. The bright colours just work so well with the warmer weather lately. Great stuff!

    I also have found that the best solution for cloudy, bubbly resin is to use the candle/bbq lighter and wave it slowly overtop while it is still in gel form, after it's been sitting a bit.

    I have a alternate problem lately. My resin doesn't seem to ever fully cure! It's still sticky on top and rather soft, even a month later. Any suggestions? (sorry for jumping in, just saw all these great people with experience with resin!)

  26. Thank you SOOOOOOOOO much for writing this !
    I have always been very self conscious about my resin impairment!
    all the instructions make it seem reasonably easy .
    The "resin-ator " designers turn out such lovey creations .
    My attempt managed to permanently encase my kitchen counter top in resin!
    Congrats for not getting it in your hair ......I did !
    m.e . :D

  27. They look great. I am afraid to use the Ice Resin because I'm sensitive to the Magic Gloss resin. I wound up at the ER with a violent allergic reaction. I love the look of resin & would adore to be able to do it again, but I'll just have to watch the rest of you.

  28. I use resin on nearly every thing I create. Really, I am happy to answer questions if you need help in the future. that goes for anyone.


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